To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: afo
From: "Shirley Cook" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 06:34:55 +1100
Dear all,
The Bird Observer publishes many casual observations and Wingspan publishes less formal articles and excellent photos.

By contrast, AFO publishes the results of original work and behavioural and other observations, even if these seem slight in themselves. Most birdwatchers are likely to be interested in much that it publishes (although not necessarily everything in every issue).

Many incidental observations have found their way into HANZAB from AFO, but obviously had to be published to be available to the HANZAB editors. It is important that some rigour be applied to the work in AFO and this is one function of the reviewing process. The reviewing of articles is not to be feared by authors: almost always a better paper is the result of review by other workers in the field. This is a gain for authors and readers alike.

AFO does not aspire to be a mini Emu and relies on the work of amateurs to fill its pages. That some professionals also publish in AFO enhances the journal and is all to the good for its readers.

The preference for one style of writing over another is to some extent a matter of opinion, but in a journal like AFO clarity is important. If irrelevancies and padding are allowed to intrude, clarity is a casualty and it is one job of the editors to try to ensure that this does not happen.

I suspect that many Birding Aussers may never have seen a copy of AFO. As a subscriber I can assure them that they are likely to be pleasantly surprised if they take the trouble to have a look (the BOCA website contains some info about the journal) and they will also be better informed about their chosen interest.

For those who wish to publish in AFO there is a standing invitation to aspiring authors to seek the assistance of the editors if they think that they need or can use it.

AFO is a quality product and its loss would be a loss to Australian ornithology and birdwatching generally.



Shirley Cook
Birds Australia - Northern NSW Group

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